HOUSTON – The New Year is almost here and that means many of us will be setting goals for ourselves, and for those who have put on a few pounds in the midst of the pandemic, health goals may be part of your resolutions.

Eating better and exercising in your weekly routines could be part of the plan. One of the ways to make sure you stick to your plan is to make an appointment to physically apply yourself. You can make an appointment for a 5K, 10K, 15K, a half marathon or even a full marathon. Trail running or obstacle courses, free yoga or tai chi in the park are other options you can do to stretch both physically and mentally in the New Year.

(Be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any type of physical fitness effort.)

Here are some of the races and other physical challenges that we have found in our region to overcome for 2022 and beyond. Reminder – Dates and events are subject to change due to regional COVID-19 cases and restrictions. :

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The Run Houston Race series features a 5K and a 10K for its five races throughout the year. The races are Sam Houston Race Park, Minute Maid Park, Clear Lake, University of Houston and Sugar Land. The author of this article did two of these races and can vouch for their success. The races also give you a glimpse of Houston that you might not have known otherwise. Running through the closed streets of Houston or Sugar Land is quite an experience and offers sights that you may never have seen until you take these classes.

Yoga and Tai Chi at Discovery Green – If you want to take a class and get on the fitness track, try a free class at Discovery Green. No pre-registration required. Bring a towel and water, as well as a mat for yoga classes. Masks are not mandatory during the exercise, but participants are requested to wear one before and after class.

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The Hot Chocolate 15K / 5K arrives on January 29, 2022, but if it’s too early, there are plenty of more 5K races planned throughout the year. Find out about them all in Run Guides, which has listed them all. 5K events are generally pretty low-key, so if you want to jump into a race to start the year, give one a try. You can run them or walk them and the best part is a lot of them are themed, so it’s a fun way to immerse yourself in the exercise world without the crazy hardcore if you’re worried about that sort of thing ( at least from the start).

Katy’s Half Marathon – Katy’s Half Marathon is just around the corner on February 12, 2022, but you can keep it in sight for the 2023 run if you don’t exercise. It’s good to keep things in mind and aim.

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USA Fit Marathon – The same goes for the USA Fit Marathon, to be held on January 30, 2022. The run is unlikely to be suitable for those starting out from the couch to the running scene, but if you’ve got a long vision. run and are ready to embark on something bigger, this local race is something to aim for in 2023 or beyond.

11th Annual Jail Break Run and 5K Half Marathon – If you want to start with a 5K in the area, you can try this one in Baytown on February 26, 2022.

Houston Marathon, Half Marathon – The Houston Marathon and Half Marathon are sold out for 2022, so maybe 2023? Be sure to keep an eye out for opening registrations. This is a sought-after event, so you should make sure that you are ready for the registration process when you start it and that there may be some steps you need to take to secure a seat.

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Texas Marathon – The race for 2022 is full, but keep an eye out for 2023. The description of the event sounds exhilarating: “Go straight to bed after you ring New Years Eve to be impatient to compete in your first race of the year. ‘year ! The two distances are loops, with the marathon in four and the half two. This is a USATF certified course.

Seabrook Lucky Trail Marathon – March 18 – March 20, 2022 – It sounds really enjoyable: “Most of the races take place on the Seabrook nature trails surrounded by a diverse habitat of fresh and salt marshes, the coastline of Galveston Bay, wetlands; and wildlife and bird sanctuaries. The trails are made up of crushed granite surface. This popular event is known for its enthusiastic volunteers, great goodie bag and great post-race party.

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Silo District Marathon Weekend in Waco, TX – If you’re feeling like a “Fixer Upper” type runner, Chip and Joanna got into the running game with the Silo District Marathon Weekend in Waco. It’s a bit further than some of these other races, but it’s for a good cause – and there’s a bit of time to prepare for it because it’s happening in April.

Brazos Bend 100 – The most recent Brazos Bend 100 took place on December 4, 2021 in front of a group of sold-out runners. The race is at the extreme of the race – 100 miles! It has a “mostly flat course and easy aid stations,” the official description added, which adds, “This is the perfect place to set personal bests. And there (are) alligators! Wildlife is plentiful!” in Brazos Bend State Park, but it is overshadowed in the public interest by the American alligator. Birds of 290 species have been sighted in and around the park. Diverse habitat is a refuge for migrating waterfowl , a variety of shorebirds, wading birds, songbirds and raptors.

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Austin Marathon, Half Marathon – This is another one of those races you’ll want to keep an eye out for in 2023 if you’re just starting out, but if you’re already starting your fitness journey, this one remains on an open record, at the time of this writing.

Tough Mudder – Gulf Coast – The Tough Mudder crowd is an extreme genre, but 2022 might be your year to get a little extreme – and you might have 11 months to get in shape to do so. The event is November 5-6.

The Woodlands Marathon – On February 26 there are plenty of options to get moving in The Woodlands. This event includes a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon. Get the details here.

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Run for Hope – CHI St. Luke’s Health presents the annual Run for Hope with options for a Full Marathon and Half Marathon, 5K and 1-Mile Light Up Cancer Kids Run. Races begin and end in historic downtown Lufkin, with full, half and 5K runners enjoying a fast, flat course through the Deep Pineywoods.

Galveston Marathon & Half Marathon – Love Galveston? We do. This race in February passes through historic Galveston and along the seawall for the full distance of the marathon, half marathon or 5 km. Additionally, children are welcome to participate in the Marathon Kids Mile event during the marathon and half marathon.

Surfside Beach Full & Half Marathon – Enjoy Beach Life. It is one of the most unique annual running events in Texas. The Surfside Beach Full Marathon and Half Marathon gives you the opportunity to run along beautiful ocean views – the entire race takes place in the sand. The event also features post-race festivities that include a barbecue, craft beer, and games.

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The Pearland Half Marathon and 10K will take place on March 27, 2022. The Pearland Half Marathon will start and end at Independence Park and the course will pass through Pearland. Spectators will line the course to cheer on their family and friends. Hydration stations, filled with water and electrolytes, will be approximately every kilometer. All participants in the half marathon and 10k will receive commemorative loot, according to the event’s website.

La Porte By the Bay Half Marathon – You would have almost a full year to prepare for this one if you started in January. This November 20, 2022 race is billed as “Texas’ highest above-ground half-marathon (with) 177 feet of water clearance.”

Nothing works with your schedule? You can search for other running exercise challenges in the Houston and Texas area here.

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Also of interest across Texas – this Wildflower Trail Run and Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio (next December, so almost a whole year to prepare!)

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